"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. China’s Xi highlights “big picture” in reform drive – Xinhua An overall plan to promote innovation in reform in selected regions was adopted at the meeting. Members of the leading group also agreed that authorities must place scientific and technological innovation at the heart of the drive. “Authorities should break down structural and institutional obstacles, advance sci-tech, management, branding and business models and promote innovation in military-civic integration,” according to a statement issued after the meeting…At the meeting, the group approved a pilot reform plan for public interest litigation and a document on improving legal aid…A plan to expand a pilot project with strengthened liability for judges and prosecutors and better supervision of personnel, money and property to more provincial-level regions was also approved…At the meeting, members of the leading group stressed that a plan to deepen reform in the science and technology sectors will be most effective if it stimulates innovation and integration of scientific and technological innovation with economic and social development.
Related: 习近平：共同把全面深化改革这篇大文章做好-新华网 会议审议通过了《关于在部分区域系统推进全面创新改革试验的总体方案》、《检察机关提起公益诉讼改革试点方案》、《关于完善法律援助制度的意见》、《深化科技体制改革实施方案》、《中国科协所属学会有序承接政府转移职能扩大试点工作实施方案》。
Related: The Urgency of Continuing with Reform – Hu Shuli Caixin Editorial Of the hundreds of different reforms being undertaken, financial reforms have been the most gratifying. Liberalization of interest and exchange rates, as well as the opening of capital accounts, have been forging ahead. However, many other reforms have shown little progress, including that of household registration. Social insurance reform is also moving slowly, with administrative monopolies and regulatory barriers still in place. It is becoming more urgent to coordinate and speed up various reforms. Meanwhile, plans for changes to state-owned enterprise have yet to come about. This risks seriously weakening the effects of financial reforms. Sacrificing some short-term interests is necessary. China is neither doomed to fall into the middle-income trap nor to be automatically protected. Planning for the next five-year plan is about to begin. It is time to review the experiences of the previous plan to create an innovative and more efficient economy.
2. China issues guideline for eco-friendly development – Xinhua China’s cabinet on Tuesday published a guideline on improving the country’s environment, vowing to achieve “major progress” in the area by 2020. In the 35-clause guideline, the State Council stressed the need to consider environmental protection when planning economic and social development, and to raise public awareness about the environment. China’s safeguarding of the environment still lags behind its economic status, with prominent problems such as limited resources and severe pollution becoming major bottlenecks for sustainable growth, the guideline noted.
Related: [视频]中共中央 国务院 关于加快推进生态文明建设的意见新闻频道央视网(cctv.com) 《意见》指出：生态文明建设是中国特色社会主义事业的重要内容，关系人民福祉，关乎民族未来，事关“两个一百年”奋斗目标和中华民族伟大复兴中国梦的实现。党中央、国务院高度重视生态文明建设，先后出台了一系列重大决策部署，推动生态文明建设取得了重大进展和积极成效。但总体上看我国生态文明建设水平仍滞后于经济社会发展，资源约束趋紧，环境污染严重，生态系统退化，发展与人口资源环境之间的矛盾日益突出，已成为经济社会可持续发展的重大瓶颈制约。
Related: 政绩考核中生态指标权重大增，领导任内生态严重破坏终身追责中国政库澎湃新闻-The Paper environmental issues to get a larger weighting in cadre evaluations, and they will be held responsible for life for environmental problems that occurred on their watch…big deal if implemented
3. China pulls out stops to avoid lay-offs as economy cools | Reuters State firms are encouraged to keep idle workers employed, subsidies and tax breaks are given to companies that do not fire their workers, and some businesses are even enticed into hiring despite the slackening economic growth. The measures appear to be working for now, said a senior economist at the Development Research Center, a think-tank affiliated to China’s cabinet. “There is no big problem in employment. They (top leaders) are more worried about financial risks and debt risks,” said the economist, who declined to be named.
4. Pool of Migrant Workers Expands Slower than in Past – Caixin The growth of China’s number of migrant workers – people who leave rural areas to find jobs in cities – has fallen for five straight years. The country had 274 million migrant workers at the end of last year, about 1.9 percent more than a year earlier, the report by the National Bureau of Statistics says. In 2010, the pool of migrant workers increased by 5.4 percent, but in 2013 the figure was only 2.4 percent. Some observers say this is happening because the population of working age people – which the government defines as those from 16 to 60 years old – is shrinking. China had 915.8 million working age people at the end of last year, about 3.71 million less than 2013, official data show – the third year in a row that this segment of the population shrank.
Related: Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China’s Migrant Workforce Growth Slows Wages are relatively low, but still growing rapidly. The average monthly earnings of rural nonfarm workers were 2864 yuan ($464) in 2014, up 9.8% from the previous year. With CPI growth of 2 percent, that translates to a 7.8% growth in real wages. This is less than half the rate of growth in 2010-11, but faster than during the recovery year of 2009 and still robust wage-growth for a slowing economy.
Related: A warning on Chinese education | Andrew Batson’s Blog The Financial Times has a series of articles this week about China’s rural migrant workers; the general theme seems to be that the fact that a very large number of people have successfully transitioned from backbreaking low-paying farmwork to higher-paying industrial and service jobs is a big problem for China. To me that seems like a rather strange angle to take. Sure, once a lot of people have made this transition it means fewer will make it in the future, but that’s a sign of success not failure. A more relevant question to ask is probably: once rural migrants have made the transition to the urban economy, how well-equipped are they to keep raising their incomes?
5. Where Do We Draw the Line on Balancing China? | Foreign Policy – Stephen Walt making China the centerpiece of U.S. grand strategy will require Washington to set priorities more carefully than it has in the past two decades and avoid costly quagmires in other places. The era when the United States could dominate most of the world’s regions simultaneously is over; today U.S. leaders have to concentrate more on vital interests and steer clear of quixotic crusades. The neoconservatives’ disastrous Middle East adventures were the greatest gift Beijing could have wished for, and pushing Moscow into Beijing’s arms makes little sense if China is the real long-term peer competitor. Yet the current field of Republican presidential candidates seems to have learned nothing from these past errors and seems all too willing to repeat them. As a respected member of the Republican Party’s vanishing realist wing, Blackwill could do the nation a great service by bringing some much-needed sanity back to the party’s foreign-policy discussions.
Related: Calls to Punish China Grow – Bloomberg View The U.S.-China relationship is delicate, and the decision to punish China should be made with great care. But the Navy’s single-minded focus on engagement and the administration’s overall resistance to calling out China for bad behavior are shortsighted. Rethinking the quantity and quality of the engagement with China actually might be better for the relationship over the long term. What’s clear is that so far, China is paying no price for its aggression. Until the Obama administration changes that, Beijing will continue to change facts on the ground — and in the water — in their own favor. // worth considering that in today’s China a key operating principle seems to be that there is no right or wrong, there is only whether or not you can get away with it…seems strange to think that principle would apply in society but not in foreign affairs as well…
6. Saving the Yangtze Finless Porpoise – Al Jazeera Earthrise on Vimeo A mini-doc…on the efforts to save the Yangtze Finless Porpoise, a critically endangered species of dolphin that lives in China’s Yangtze river. Overfishing, industrial pollution, river traffic and rampant sand dredging along Asia’s second longest river has brought the number believed alive in the wild to just 1,000. Our trip with presenter Di To took us to Wuhan city, the heavily polluted Dongting Lake and Tianezhou, an oxbow lake once connected to the Yangtze that has become a safe haven for the porpoise.
7. The Next Episode – YouTube by a talented financial professional (and Sinocism reader) who may be in the wrong business // Written in 2013, this parody attempts to highlight the challenges facing the new Chinese leadership, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. This “Next Episode” of Chinese leadership thus far has included a renewed emphasis on reform, an aggressive anti-corruption campaign to clean up the CCP, and increased social controls in an attempt to maintain stability during this period of great change in China. It is unclear how history will judge Xi and Li in retrospect, but one thing is for sure, they are every bit as “gangsta” as Snoop and Dre (props to Wang Qishan too). Shout out to Snoopy and Doc for the track.
8. Tea to tech: China’s cybersecurity push sparks a ‘gold rush’ Snowden’s disclosures in 2013 of U.S. cyberspying and security holes in American technology products have prompted China’s government to accelerate a broad campaign to replace foreign technology with Chinese-developed systems. And that has triggered a frenzy among state-affiliated software firms, investors and savvy businessmen – all hoping to capitalize on Silicon Valley’s waning grip over China’s $450 billion-a-year enterprise computing market…When Hongqi, a software company that developed China’s most successful operating system during the 2000s, but which has since struggled, put itself up for sale last year, bidders included a coal magnate, an aviation company and a food transport provider. It was eventually sold to a company with a background in household cleaning for just $6 million. “We’re in a new bubble because of Snowden,” said He Weijia, a former director at Hongqi.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
Central Bank Said to Mull Tool for Policy Banks to Buy Local Gov’t Bonds-Caixin China’s central bank is considering lending to policy banks through a new tool so they can buy bonds issued by local governments, a person close to the regulator says. The loans would have a maturity of at least 10 years, the source said. Other details of how this would work remain unclear, but the tool will be unlike anything the bank has used before, he said. “It will be a new monetary tool the world has never seen,” the person said. “The format does not matter, and all possible means could be taken.” He said the regulator will use the new instrument to provide China Development Bank (CDB) and perhaps other policy banks with capital so they can buy bonds that local governments have issued.
China April HSBC services PMI hits 2015 high, stock rally boosts business for some | Reuters The services PMI rose to a four-month high of 52.9 in April from 52.3 in March, comfortably above the 50-point level that separates expansion from a contraction in activity on a monthly basis. Some companies attributed part of the pick-up in new business to the strong stock market, which hit a seven-year peak in April, suggesting that the wealth effect had seeped into parts of the world’s second-biggest economy.
证券时报社评：共同营造股市理性繁荣新局面 Securities Times on a rational bull market // 在改革深化和产业转型升级的大背景下，A股市场的未来仍然是美好的，阶段性的调整不改市场向好趋势…A股由熊转牛，是对政府深化改革具有信心的反映，是对中国经济未来发展向好的预期。未来一段时间，不管市场如何调整，这个基本逻辑依然成立。
China’s Stocks Extend Rout Amid IPO Concerns as Industrials Drop – Bloomberg Business The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.6 percent to 4,229.27 at the close, adding to a 4.1 percent loss on Tuesday. Twenty-five companies are scheduled to sell new shares from Tuesday through May 11, which may freeze 2.34 trillion yuan ($376 billion), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. IPO shares have jumped 44 percent on average on the first day of trading this year.
如何看待《人民日报》股市评论文章？–财经–人民网 本轮牛市的根本原因是中国发展战略的宏观支撑以及经济改革所激发的动力。有舆论将中国经济的转型调整和中国股市对立起来，认为牛市缺乏实体经济的支持，或者实体经济不好导致生产资金进入股市才造成牛市，这些观点也都是有待商榷的。从国际经验来看，资本市场在经济转型的过程中往往扮演重要作用，双方的关系并不对立。从国家战略出发，“一带一路”和“人民币国际化”将使得中国蓝筹公司具备全球资源配置的能力，中国蓝筹公司的估值尚存在提高的空间。而从国内实际情况出发，当前CPI稳定，货币政策具备适度宽松的条件。无论是从国家发展战略还是从国内经济运行情况考量，股市的长牛、慢牛都符合国家利益、产业利益、社会利益。而这样的牛市需要市场的支持，也需要信心的支持和舆论的呵护。 不妨将5月5日的收跌看作是中国资本市场迈向成熟过程中经历的一个插曲。收跌给市场的参与者上了一课：理性的市场离不开理性的舆论，理性的舆论离不开理性的媒体。// on how to read the People’s Daily comment on the stock market
Chinese officials lambasted for failing to carry out policies amid slowing economy | South China Morning Post Local government officials in China are failing to implement central government policies to stimulate economic growth, an editorial in the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, said on Wednesday. Good policy formulated at a national level remains stuck “on paper” as local party cadres fail to inform businesses about policy or do not adjust local policies to match national changes, the newspaper said. // 人民日报：以“三严三实”治庸官懒政
China sets rules to lure private investment in infrastructure | Reuters To encourage private investors the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has opened up a number of major infrastructure projects that had previously been off-limits, officials told a news conference. Private investors can build projects in energy, transportation, water and environmental protection and urban utilities through franchises, according to rules issued by the planning agency. Contracts would be based on build-operate-transfer (BOT) models. The planning agency pledged to “protect the legal interests of social capital and guarantee stability and continuity of franchising operations”.
China knocks on door of reserve currency club – FT.com The fourth hurdle, which essentially requires a yes or no decision on whether renminbi interest rates are market-based, will be much harder to clear. Mr Zhou said in March that China may eliminate the administrative cap on bank deposit rates — the last interest rate in China subject to government control — by the end of this year. That might provide the opening IMF board members need to admit China into the SDR club.
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China’s Cities Said to Take Steps to Boost Local-Bond Demand – Bloomberg Business “The game is still going on: the governments want to pay lower interest and the banks want to see higher yields,” said Ding Shuang, head of greater China economic research at Standard Chartered Plc in Hong Kong. “We will see more push forward and back over the issue in the coming months.”
Housing Prices Recover in China First Tier Cities | Mingtiandi Home prices in the country’s 10 biggest cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, rose by an average of 0.12 percent last month according to a survey by research institute China Index Academy. However, across 100 cities covered by the unit of online real estate platform Soufun, prices were still down by 0.01 percent in April, although the rate of decline slowed on a month by month basis, compared to March figures.
China Trusts Fuel Rally With Record Rise in Equities Investment – Bloomberg Business Total trust assets under management grew at the slowest pace in 12 quarters, gaining 3 percent to 14.4 trillion yuan, according to the trustee association. At the end of March, China had 425 “risky” trust products valued at 97.4 billion yuan, up from 369 products valued at 78.1 billion yuan three months earlier.
Home sales in major Chinese cities spike in April – Xinhua New home sales in China’s 30 major cities — including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen — surged 15.1 percent in April from the previous month representing an increase of 30.8 percent from the previous year. Of the tier-one cities, Beijing witnessed the strongest growth of 70.7 percent in April compared with a year earlier, noted the report released Wednesday.
POLITICS AND LAW
全面建成小康社会是实现中国梦的关键一步_求是网 来源：《求是》2015/09 作者：秋石 — ■ 全面建成小康社会的核心就在“全面”，这个“全面”既体现在覆盖的人群是全面的，是不分地域的全面小康，是不让一个人掉队的全面小康，意味着全国各个地区都要迈入小康社会，又体现在涉及的领域是全面的，覆盖了经济建设、政治建设、文化建设、社会建设、生态文明建设和党的建设. ■ 发展仍然是当代中国的核心问题。全面建成小康社会，必须进一步解决好实现什么样的发展、怎样实现更有质量、更加均衡、更加全面、更加绿色、更可持续的发展。 ■ 全面建成小康社会，不但要有实体经济的发展，还要有服务业的发展；不但要有城市建设的提质发展，还要有农村和中小城镇的提质发展；不但要拉动城乡居民的生活消费，还要拉动城乡居民的文化消费；不但要有民生投入和公共服务投入，还要有社会建设与治理的投入；不但要有资源开发性投入，还要有环境保护性投入，等等。 ■ 发展必须讲求质量和效益。这是全面建成小康社会的内在要求。在经济发展新常态下，我国传统发展方式不可持续，我们必须推动经济发展提质增效升级。
把群众路线深深植根于党员干部的思想和行动_求是网 来源：《求是》2015/09 作者：赵乐际 ■ 历史和现实都告诉我们，人心向背关系党的生死存亡。党的根基在人民、血脉在人民、力量在人民，革命时是这样，执政后也是这样。 ■ 在任何时候任何情况下，与人民同呼吸共命运的立场不能变、全心全意为人民服务的宗旨不能忘、群众是真正英雄的历史唯物主义观点不能丢 ■ 一切为了群众、一切依靠群众，这是我们党的性质和宗旨决定的，是命脉、命门。怎样认识人民群众在历史上的作用，是社会历史观的重大问题。马克思主义群众史观鲜明地提出人民是真正的英雄，是社会物质财富和精神财富的创造者，也是社会变革的决定性力量。 ■ 一个党和党的领导干部，只有尊重群众的自愿和自觉、尊重群众的智慧和实践，才能指出正确方向、领导群众前进。正如毛泽东同志、邓小平同志讲的，只有善于做群众学生的人，才有可能做群众的先生。 ■ “密切联系群众、凝聚社会共识”，凸显着中国共产党“执政为民”的政治品格，浸润着中华民族“民惟邦本”的优秀基因，也昭示着党治国兴邦的制胜之道。
Shanghai bans officials’ relatives from running private businesses – FT.com The regulations covering close relatives of officials are the strictest so far in China but do not appear to address some common abuses of power. Many children or spouses of officials register businesses through a complex web of corporate structures that take advantage of proxy agents, fake names or fake identity cards in order to disguise their shareholdings. Forbidding relatives of officials from private business would not have addressed most of the issues in Shanghai’s most famous corruption scandal — the 2006 downfall of the city’s powerful Communist party secretary, Chen Liangyu.
Controversy Erupts as Policeman Kills Attacker in Train Station – Caixin Law professor says uproar over an officer shooting a man who evidence suggests tried to grab his gun is a sign the public doesn’t trust the police
Zhou Yongkang said to have ordered murder of family of four in US｜WantChinaTimes been rumored for a while, serious ramifications for US-China relations if true // A murder case involving the execution-style slaying of a family of four in the US may finally have been solved thanks to the corruption case against disgraced former top Chinese politician Zhou Yongkang, reports the Chinese-language news portal of Radio France Internationale. Zhou, the retired Politburo Standing Committee member with heavy influence over the country’s oil sector, has admitted sending an assassin to kill the family, the website reported. The website cited a report in Hong Kong’s Sun newspaper stating that Sun Maoye, an engineer living in Houston, was shot along with his wife and two children last year. The case remained unsolved, the Sun reported. The latest issue of Boxun magazine revealed however that there had been a break in the case
Investigators release new details in Cypress murders — Houston Community Newspapers Feb 6 2014 On Jan. 30, deputies found the bodies of two young children and two adults in their home at 14015 Fosters Creek Drive. “It’s bad enough that the two adults were found dead–but even worse, two small children both under the age of 10,” said Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia. “It’s baffling how anyone has it within them to take the lives of children.” They were not tied up, said Garcia. All four were found in separate bedrooms with bullet wounds in the head. The victims were identified as Mei Xie and her husband Maoye Sun.
China’s media under Mr. Positive – China Media Project The term is now regularly in use among Party officials at all levels of the bureaucracy, suggesting it is a term of currency in China’s political discourse. When it comes to media policy, Xi Jinping is Mr. Positive. We can look, for example, at a recent front-page story in Liaoning Daily, the official Party mouthpiece of Liaoning’s provincial leadership, to see how the term is deployed and with which other familiar faces from the realm of news and ideology. At one point in the piece, Liaoning’s top leader, Wang Min (王珉), who is on a media inspection tour, notes Hu Jintao’s concept of the “Three Closenesses,” which dates back to 2002-2003. But in the articles crowning paragraph, we have three terms packed altogether: “guidance of public opinion” (舆论导向), which has been central to media control since 1989; the “main theme” (主旋律), a reference to CCP orthodoxy; and “transmitting positive energy” (传播正能量).
China Policy Institute Blog » The Chinese Government Hops on the WeChat Bandwagon The number of individual WeChat operations by government officials pales dramatically before the other two types of accounts mentioned above. In the individual category, a leading example is Chen Junqing, the Party boss of Shangrao city of Jiangxi province, who has been nicknamed the “WeChat secretary” in China. Chen regularly uses WeChat to communicate with the rank and file in his jurisdiction (thus forcing his subordinates to become WeChat adopters), and claims to have fallen in love with the “zero-distance” mode of WeChat exchanges with the masses that allow him to gauge unfiltered opinions and receive instantaneous feedback. During the CPPCC and NPC sessions in March 2015, Chen conducted an interview via WeChat with the People’s Daily (the chief mouthpiece of the CCP), the first of its kind among Chinese officials. Likewise, a small number of CPPCC and NPC representatives have made splashes on WeChat by soliciting input from the public in preparing for motions at their annual conventions in the past two years. However, in a polity that is deeply rooted in information control and opinion manipulation, the risk level stands high for government officials, and there is an excruciating demand for craftiness on the part of politicians to homestead unchartered WeChat territories. This is primarily why only a handful are willing to give it a try.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Spotlight: Xi’s visit to deepen, celebrate China-Russia relations – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will devise a strategic blueprint for the future development of Sino-Russia relations, and show their determination to jointly uphold global peace and commemorate the outcome of World War II (WWII) during Xi’s upcoming visit to Russia. As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Facist War, China and Russia, two main battlefields in Asia and Europe during the war, will both hold a series of celebrations. The celebrations are of great significance and have attracted worldwide attention as they shows the high regard China has for Russia both as a strategic partner and friend, and vice versa.
How much do Chinese people know about Russia ? – Xinhua News Agency on Facebook another video from the “On the road to rejuvenation studio” // Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Russia from May 8 to 10. The video will tell you how much Chinese people know about Russia and its president, and what they expect from the visit.
揭秘“跟着大大走新版视频”如何出炉-搜狐新闻 昨日，“复兴路上工作室”推出了新的视频作品《跟着大大走之俄罗斯篇》，为国家主席习近平即将于8日开始的访俄之旅预热，视频在网上引发关注。视频中出镜的一对夫妇告诉北青报记者，拍摄方辗转联系到他们经常聚会和跳舞的一家莫斯科餐厅，他们在那里接受了采访并表示，希望习近平主席能将《莫斯科—北京》这首歌带过去。 5分17秒的视频中，拍摄地点涉及了北京的莫斯科饭庄、俄罗斯驻华大使馆、俄罗斯商贸街、国际关系学院以及幼儿园等，受访人群也来自不同职业和年龄段，从幼儿园里的小朋友到骑自行车买菜的大爷，大家都从各自的视角回答了“提到俄罗斯你会想到什么”、“你眼中的普京”、“你想对普京说点啥”三个问题。
China changes its Japan stance as pressure tactics fail-Bonnie Glaser-Lowy Interpreter Over the past several months a gradual but significant shift has taken place in China’s policy toward Japan. The change is a result of Beijing’s recognition that its unrelenting pressure on Tokyo since the Japanese Government purchased several of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands from a private owner in September 2012 has produced far greater costs than benefits for China. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Asian-African summit in Jakarta last month is the latest proof of the adjustment in Chinese policy.
Rewriting the War, Japanese Right Attacks a Newspaper – NYTimes The threats are part of a broad, vitriolic assault by the right-wing news media and politicians here on The Asahi, which has long been the newspaper that Japanese conservatives love to hate. The battle is also the most recent salvo in a long-raging dispute over Japan’s culpability for its wartime behavior that has flared under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s right-leaning government. This latest campaign, however, has gone beyond anything postwar Japan has seen before, with nationalist politicians, including Mr. Abe himself, unleashing a torrent of abuse that has cowed one of the last strongholds of progressive political influence in Japan. It has also emboldened revisionists calling for a reconsideration of the government’s 1993 apology for the wartime coercion of women into prostitution
Dialing Back Nail-Biting Over the PLA – WSJ In a February report entitled “Ten Reasons Why China Will Have Trouble Fighting a Modern War,” Dennis J. Blasko, a former U.S. Army attaché in Beijing, points to the PLA’s divided command structure. Responsibility at every level of the PLA is shared between professional officers and political commissars. Nobody knows how that will work out in fast-moving combat, he says. Chinese military analysts themselves, bemoan the “Peace Disease.” Not one Chinese noncommissioned officer or private has ever been in a real firefight. The last time the PLA went to war was in 1979 against Vietnam, when it got a bloody nose.
按照“四个全面”战略布局加快推进国防和军队建设_求是网 来源：《求是》2015/09 作者：中国人民解放军总政治部
U.S. makes new push for global rules in cyberspace – Joseph Marks – POLITICO There is also a fourth norm the U.S. government is determined to abide by but did not include in the UN document because it focuses more on trade than security, the source said. That norm states nations should not hack foreign companies for the economic benefit of domestic ones. U.S. officials have frequently accused China of stealing western firms’ intellectual property in place of performing their own research and development. Former NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and other officials have called this the “greatest transfer of wealth in history.” The person familiar with the negotiations declined to speculate on the likelihood the three proposed norms in the U.S. experts’ submission would be included in the final report that will be sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Safe in New Zealand, Graft Fugitives Just out of China’s Reach – Caixin Up to five people wanted in China for corruption may be living in New Zealand, but lack of extradition treaty prevents bringing them to justice
Navy Needs New Servers for Aegis Cruisers and Destroyers After Chinese Purchase of IBM Line – USNI News IBM shedding its server business creates a security concern for the U.S. Navy, which included the company’s x86 BladeCenter HT server in its Aegis Technical Insertion (TI) 12. The TI-12 hardware upgrades, along with Advanced Capability Build (ACB) 12 software upgrades, compose the Aegis Baseline 9 combat system upgrade that combines a ballistic missile defense capability with anti-air warfare (AAW) improvements for the Navy’s guided missile cruiser and destroyer fleets. “The Department of Homeland Defense identified security concerns with the IBM Blade Center sale and placed restrictions on federal government procurement of Lenovo Blade Center server products,” Navy spokesman Dale Eng told USNI News.
The Times, Bloomberg News, and the Richest Man in China – The New Yorker Whatever efforts Michael Bloomberg made appear to be paying off. Shai Oster, a prize-winning Bloomberg investigative reporter who worked with Forsythe on the Wang story, received a temporary reporting visa from China in April. At least two other Bloomberg reporters have told colleagues that they expect to get visas to relocate to Beijing. So far, no relief appears in the offing for the Times. The animosity between the Times and Bloomberg News over the episode has been so intense that editors from the two media organizations have rarely attended meetings together over the visas. Orville Schell, the Arthur Ross Director of the Center for U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society, who has been working on the visa problem, said that this animosity has prolonged the blockade. “It is unfortunate that media outlets have not found a way to stand together on these issues,’’ Schell said.
Tanmen Militia: China’s ‘Maritime Rights Protection’ Vanguard | The National Interest Hainan Province is using the fishing industry as a launching pad for the nation’s consolidation of the South China Sea (SCS). It is one of many measures—such as strengthening maritime law enforcement forces, enhancing administrative measures, augmenting infrastructure through island building, and delivery of 3G cellular coverage—but one with particular potential. China’s fishing industry and the world’s largest fleet that it wields has been an important foreign policy tool in Beijing’s repertoire since much of China’s historic claim on the SCS and current presence therein hinges on fishing activities. The fishing fleet’s political and strategic role has been given special significance and potential by China’s widespread employment of a relatively unknown paramilitary organization: the maritime militia.
New documentary about Deng Xiaoping’s U.S. visit set for release – Xinhua “Mr. Deng goes to Washington”, a documentary film about late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s official visit to the United States in 1979, will hit Chinese theaters on May 15. The film details then vice Premier Deng’s visit to the United States from late January to early February, including receptions, meetings with American politicians, TV interviews and other events.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Macau April gambling revenue plunges record 39 pct y/y | Reuters Gambling revenue fell to 19.167 billion patacas ($2.40 billion) in April, from 31.318 billion patacas a year earlier, according to data released by the Macau government on Monday. Analysts were expecting a decline of around 38-40 percent.
Chinese Leader and Head of Taiwan’s Kuomintang Discuss Economy and Disaster Response – NYTimes The visit by the Taiwanese party leader, Eric Chu, chairman of the Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party, was the first official trip by a head of the party to the mainland since 2009. It represents a politically fraught challenge for Mr. Chu. His party has pitched itself as best able to manage relations with Beijing, an edge that helped President Ma Ying-jeou win his election in 2008 and re-election four years later. But as Mr. Ma pushed trade deals and greater economic exchange with the mainland, Taiwanese voters raised concerns about Beijing’s growing economic influence over Taiwan and whether the benefits of such trade helped average citizens.
[视频]习近平总书记会见中国国民党主席朱立伦新闻频道央视网(cctv.com) CCTV Evening News Monday report on Xi-Chu meeting
TECH AND MEDIA
国家网信办公布可供网站转载新闻的新闻单位名单_中国山东网 CAC releases list of news organizations whose content can be supplied for republishing
财新网大突破，入选网络转载“白名单” Luo Changping on Caixin’s inclusion in the CAC’s “white list” of news publishers whose content is approved for republishing, notes that as of the end of 2014 Caixin’s sponsor organization is now a Beijing-based publishing house under the CPPCC // 财新网不再归口浙江，亦非获得黎瑞刚投资后的上海，而是北京。同属财新传媒的新世纪周刊，此前隶属海南改革发展研究院，后转至浙报传媒，去年年底落户中国文史出版社，后者为全国政协的专业出版社，这或是财新网属地北京的原因。
How Snapchat Made QR Codes Cool Again | TechCrunch QR codes have been cool in China for years thanks to WeChat. Snapchat is smart to copy WeChat // Snapchat launched a feature called Snapcodes (also known as Snaptags). Each user now has their Snapchat-branded QR code on their profile that can be opened by pressing the yellow ghost icon atop the camera. If another user scans someone’s Snapcode by focusing their Snapchat app’s camera on it, they automatically follow that person. Now Snapchat tells me millions of Snapcodes are scanned each week.
Are Investors Falling Out of Love With Alibaba? – Bloomberg Business and company has nothing to compete effectively with Tencent’s Wechat // “People are connecting the dots, believing the hiring freeze implies that this quarter wasn’t good,” Jeff Papp, a senior analyst at Oberweis Asset Management Inc., which oversees about $1.9 billion, said by e-mail on Tuesday. “Nobody does a hiring freeze when things are good. With a large IPO like Alibaba, expectations have gone from way too high to way too low. We are at the lower point now.”
Walt Mossberg Reviews the Mi Note: China’s Quality Rival to Apple | Re/code The Mi Note is drop-dead gorgeous, like something I’d expect to see from Apple. It’s a large-screen flagship model, with a brilliant 5.7-inch screen housed in an aluminum frame, with curved Gorilla Glass on both the front and rear. The overall effect is elegant and comfortable to hold, for a large phone. For now, Xiaomi is offering the Mi Note only in China, and is selling it only online; the company says it has no plans to offer it in the U.S. The phone doesn’t support most of the U.S. wireless bands, or fast LTE data in the U.S. In addition, Xiaomi has no plans to localize the phone’s software for the U.S. But I decided to try it out because it’s a great example of a new reality in consumer tech: Chinese companies are showing they are capable of doing quality, original products, not just making things designed elsewhere. // huge pr win for Xiaomi
INTERNET: Qihoo Gets Global Snub For Misleading Ways | Young’s China Business Blog Security software specialist Qihoo 360 (NYSE: QIHU) is finding itself in the middle of a global scandal, with word that several European accreditation bodies have refused to certify its core security software products due to the company’s misleading business practices. The case comes as an embarrassment to Qihoo, which is used to and largely ignores such scandals when they occur in its home market where such practices are relatively common. But as Qihoo and its peers attempt to go global, they are quickly discovering that many of the things they do at home fall well below the standards set by global bodies, especially in the west.
The World’s Craziest Chinese Stock Chart Just Broke – Bloomberg Business first day not limit up 10% in I think 30 trading days // Beijing Baofeng Technology, which went public in March was the standout stock with its share price increasing by the allowable daily limit of 10 percent every single day since it launched.
Chinese Drone Maker DJI Raises $75 Million From Accel Partners – WSJ Chinese drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co. secured a $75 million investment this week that values the company at roughly $8 billion, according to people familiar with the situation, propelling the firm into an exclusive club of startups and signaling Silicon Valley’s high hopes for the commercial promise of flying robots. Venture-capital firm Accel Partners said its $75 million investment in SZ DJI Technology Co. is one of its largest ever.
Tencent Comes Out On Top In China Mobile Game Wars – TechNode Internet giant Tencent currently owns 14 of the top 30 most downloaded games in China, according to game-industry media company Gamegrapes, however other players including Netease and Chanyou are vying for the spot. Internet giant Tencent has come out on top by successfully leveraging its triple-roles as a game developer, publisher and game platform using WeChat. NetEase listed four apps among total 30. 3D games such as MMORPGs are largely produced by Sohu’s online game subsidiary Changyou, developer of Tianlong, seizing users with games based on classic Chinese novels.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
The Met Gala gave western celebrities yet another chance to ignore China’s human rights record – Quartz There were several beautiful pieces by Chinese designers, some gorgeous stars from China and the west, and a whole lot of red dresses, a color symbolizing fortune and luck. So, what was missing? For starters, any mention whatsoever from the international fashion press or attendees of the ongoing brutal and inhumane crackdown on free speech and human rights going on on the ground in China, one that’s being called the most repressive in 25 years. Even Amal Ramzi Clooney, a human rights lawyer who sometimes represents jailed journalists in repressive regimes, attended the gala in red dress.
In China, Pigs Are Flying. Almost. – NYTimes.com wonder when someone will have them jump into a boiling, communal hot pot // With summer here, swine across China — hefty or small; pink, black or spotted — are jumping or being shoved off platforms and splashing into pools and ponds where they bob around before gathering their senses and paddling to shore. A proliferation of images on the Internet and reports in newspapers suggests that creating a leaping, amphibious pig is another realm where China can claim global preeminence
Smartphone use is ruining Chinese marriages and driving families apart – The Washington Post A survey has just come out in China though, clearly saying that the explosion in smartphone use is ruining marriages in the country and driving families apart. The survey by the All China Women’s Federation (ACWF) found that 60 percent of married respondents complained about intrusion from smartphone use in their relationship.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
China fishing plan in Antarctica alarms scientists| McClatchy Scientists studying the Antarctic’s marine life received some unexpected news this month: China plans to vastly increase fishing for Antarctic krill – small crustaceans that are a critical food for the continent’s penguins and other creatures. China currently harvests about 32,000 metric tons of krill annually from Antarctica’s waters, topped by only Norway and South Korea. Under China’s plans, detailed in a March 4 story in the state-run China Daily, the world’s most populous country would increase those catches 30 to 60 times, harvesting up to 2 million metric tons yearly.
China to expand coal ban to suburbs | Reuters Under the action plan, coal-fired industrial boilers will all shift to burn natural gas or clean coal by 2020 in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei city clusters, Pearl River delta and Yangtze River delta area, NEA said. China has around 600,000 industrial boilers fueled by coal, most of them are in residential areas in northern China. The government will offer subsidies for clean fuels, it said, without giving details.
China to stop setting most medicine prices from June 1 | Reuters China will remove price caps for most medicines from June 1 and give the market a larger role in setting prices in the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market, the country’s economic planning agency said on Tuesday. The change would encourage “reasonable” pricing of medicines and help control costs in the country’s state medical insurance schemes, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in an online statement .
In China, a tug of war over coal gas: Cleaner air but worse for the climate – The Washington Post Although the enthusiasm has since waned somewhat — mainly over questions about the industry’s economic viability — coal gasification still has powerful backers. But a visit to the semi-arid grasslands of the Asian steppe soon clouds the rosy vision they espouse. Here, even before the factory’s twin smokestacks come into view, the stench of sulfur poisons the air, leaving humans and animals gasping for breath for miles around. Likewise, underground water supplies are receding, while wastewater pools threaten to leach dangerous heavy metals into the soil, according to Greenpeace research. Protests by local herders have reportedly been suppressed, and a Washington Post reporting team was harassed by police and security officials on a recent trip.
Stephen Schwarzman Wants to Create a Global Network for Peace | Foreign Policy The private equity mogul does not think of his eponymous China studies program as just a scholarship — he thinks of it as way to avoid war.
Beijing’s “Fast and Furious” charged with dangerous driving – Xinhua Two young men that staged a real-life “Fast and Furious” drag race in downtown Beijing have been charged with dangerous driving, local authorities said Monday. The Beijing Chaoyang District People’s Procuratorate said they filed the charges against Yu, 20, and Tang, 21, on Monday and the case was accepted by the Chaoyang District People’s Court. On April 11, Yu drove a red Ferrari in a drag race against Tang’s green Lamborghini on Datun Road. Both vehicles were severely damaged when they careered through a tunnel guardrail, before smashing into walls at speeds of more than 160 km/h, according to the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.
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